Several alpacas were found dead at McGavock High School after someone jumped a fence to feed the animals.
The alpacas were part of the high school’s animal science program. The program teaches students about livestock care and agriculture.
“It’s not like we’re playing with the animals all the time and we’re just messing around. We do work,” said McGavock sophomore Brittney Fuller. “Most of the people who want to be in here do want to become vets. I want to become a vet and this program will help me get into vet school.”
News 2 found Fuller and her fellow students feeding, caring for, and cleaning up after the animals during their Spring Break.
“We definitely want to make sure that they have food if they need it,” said animal science student Holly Bracey. “And that they have hay in their stalls, and they are perfectly safe when we leave.”
However, the students couldn’t prevent someone from jumping their fence and feeding the alpacas poultry food. It made them sick and two alpacas died immediately.
A couple weeks later, the baby alpaca also died.
“Chaco definitely missed his mom a lot and I think he got really lonely,” said Bracey.
The students believe someone thought they were doing the right thing by feeding the alpacas.
The sole surviving alpaca has been moved to another farm for its own safety. Alpacas are herd animals and can’t be alone.
“It’s really upsetting because we do care for the animals and we do love and take care of them,” Fuller said.
The students hope to rebuild their alpaca herd with extra precautions in place. They want two security cameras – one for the small animal lab and the other for the barn door.
A GoFundMe has been set up and community members have started donating to help buy the cameras.
“We do appreciate everything the community has done for us and showing their love and compassion for these animals as much as we have,” said McGavock’s Future Farmers of America President Colby Chapman.
“I know a lot of people care about these animals,” said Fuller. “Every time I talk about them, they’re like ‘I love driving by and seeing them’, and they’re upset there are no more alpacas.”
The group hopes to rebuild the herd come Fall.